5
Oct

Arsenal fans light flares outside Stamford Bridge, delay match

In case you were wondering what this “incident” was that delayed Sunday’s London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal, maybe this picture will clear it up:

H/T SBNation

1
Oct

Galatasaray fans interrupt Champions League match with flare storm

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Galatasaray were already down 2-0 to Arsenal when the throng of away fans - clearly uninspired by what they saw - began throwing dozens of flares onto the pitch (WATCH it here), briefly interrupting Wednesday’s match.

During the stoppage, vice-captain Wesley Sneijder went over to the fans to try and calm them down, knowing full well that in this day and age, UEFA are doling out punishment for fan behavior left and right.

Strangely enough, though, it might be Arsenal who get in trouble:

The Turkish fans’ performance didn’t exactly “light a fire” under their team. Galatasaray fell further behind before getting a lone consolation goal on a second-half penalty as Arsenal won 4-1.

Here are some more pictures, courtesy of Reuters:

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28
Aug

Legia Warsaw fans fire back at UEFA with amazing tifo over Champions League ruling

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After having its UEFA Champions League qualification tossed out on a pretty bogus technicality, Legia Warsaw were steaming mad.

To recap, Legia Warsaw blasted Celtic in their Champions League playoff to the tune of a 6-1 aggregate win, but the Polish side were deemed to have fielded an ineligible player late in their second-leg win. As a result, Celtic were reinstated, and Legia Warsaw were dropped to the Europa League.

To make matters worse, Celtic did absolutely nothing with the extra chance they were given at Champions League glory, losing to Slovenian side Maribor in their playoff earlier this week.

So, yeah, Legia Warsaw’s fans were none too pleased with UEFA. Luckily, they channeled their frustration into creativity and put together an amazing tifo. Ahead of Legia Warsaw’s Europa League playoff match against Aktobe, they busted out this:

The tifo meet all the requirements needed to send a message to UEFA: A gigantic, greedy pig holding a “6<1” sign with a caption of “Because football doesn’t matter, money does” with the backdrop of the UEFA logo?

Message received.

(h/t 101GG)

7
Jan

AEK Athens fans still mad, invade pitch to wage flare war

imagePhoto: Getty Images

Every time we hear from AEK Athens, it’s for the wrong reasons. Last season alone, one AEK player received a lifetime ban for a Nazi salute, the club declared bankruptcy, and to top it all off, their own fans chased the team off the pitch after a relegation-sealing own goal.

Sadly, it looks like AEK aren’t getting over their horror season anytime soon.

Now in the third division, AEK visited Egaleo this weekend, but before the match even started visiting AEK hooligans literally attempted to invade and take over the stadium, waging a full-blown flare war with the home fans:

Caught off-guard, the riot police eventually intervened to restore order. But in the 87th minute, AEK ultras once again stirred up trouble, despite the team closing out a 2-1 win.

Win or lose, it seems AEK somehow keeps attracting negative attention. But at least, their performance on the pitch has them on course to get promoted back into the second tier of Greek football.

H/T 101GG

1
Dec

Bosnian fans hurl flares at each other, interrupt match

Bosnian league leaders Željezničar beat second-placed Borac 1-0 on Saturday, but the heavyweight showdown was marred by fiery altercations between the two clubs’ fan bases.

Just before halftime, supporters turned the stands into a battlefield by tossing exploding firecrackers at each other, causing a stoppage of play that lasted for a few minutes.

Sadly, this is just par for the course in the Balkans. Just a few weeks ago, Serbia’s top rivalry between Partizan and Red Star Belgrade turned into a massive bonfire as Partizan fans set their foes’ stadium literally aflame:

26
Oct

Unruly Dortmund fans delay derby win over Schalke

The highly-anticipated Revierderby between historic rivals Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 was delayed after the away fans set off a series of flares prior to kick-off. Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller ran over to the away section but had little luck calming down his fans, instead getting more flares thrown his way.

Unperturbed on the field, Dortmund took apart Schalke 3-1 to exact sweet revenge for last season, when the Royal Blues pulled the double on Dortmund with two 2-1 victories. This time around, the Bundesliga’s most historic derby underscored Dortmund’s terrific form at the moment and saw them reclaim authority in the region.

Strikes from Patrick Aubameyang, Nuri Sahin and Kuba Blaszczykowski proved the difference for Jurgen Klopp’s men, who didn’t enjoy as much possession as the hosts but were more clinical in front of goal. Sahin’s goal was by far the best of the bunch, as he turned back the clock to his pre-Real Madrid, pre-Liverpool days when he was the Bundesliga’s best player in 2010:

Dortmund kept pace with Bayern Munich, who won at Berlin, while widening the gap on their rivals to 11 points. Schalke fell to sixth place in the standings.

You could see how much the derby spoils meant to the BVB players, as Lewandowski posted this to his Instagram after the match from the dressing room:

One of the lighter moments of the match came on the touchline as Klopp, everyone’s darling, volleyed a ball going out of bounds and inadvertently struck the head of the fourth official:

Video H/T 101GG

29
Aug

Estonian amateur club receives hero’s welcome

Fans of Estonian fourth-tier side Tartu JK Welco Elekter pulled out all the stops for their club’s season opener, greeting the players with a thunderous welcome that they’re most likely not used to.

Using flares, flags, firecrackers, a tifo (if you can call it that) and — best of all, the bone-chilling theme music from 2001: A Space Odyssey — the fans provided Welco with an atmosphere as bizarre as Miley Cyrus’ performance at the VMAs.

No word on whether or not the thrilling support ended up in a Welco win or not.

(H/T Who Ate All The Pies)

28
Aug

Legia Warsaw fans protest UEFA sanctions with intense display

Away goals put Steaua Bucharest into the Champions League Group Stage over Polish side Legia Warsaw after a 2-2 draw on Tuesday. Although Steaua squandered a two-goal lead and let Legia battle back, the real fireworks started well before the opening kick:

UEFA, prompted by what the administrative body deemed “racist behavior by supporters,” sanctioned Legia Warsaw by closing a section of the stands in the team’s home arena, Polish Army Stadium, and fined the team €30,000.

The fans responded with a giant middle finger in the form of this massive demonstration, unfurling a large tifo that read “UEFA Ultra Extreme Fanatical Atmosphere,” before giving way to an onslaught of flares and fire crackers.

It’s certainly impressive and intimidating, and there are plenty of reasons to be upset with UEFA, but it’s important to remember the ban was imposed because of alleged racist behavior. So, no matter how cool it is to “stick it to the man,” maybe Legia fans should put their efforts toward ridding racism from their support section. Maybe.

(h/t Deadspin)

21
Aug

Fenerbahce fans try to ruin Arsenal players’ sleep ahead of UCL match


Whenever big competition comes to Istanbul, the rabid local fan bases are almost certain to drum up a storm around the visiting teams’ hotels, looking to interrupt the players’ sleep the night ahead of the matches. To be fair this “tradition” extends to certain fan bases all over the world, but Istanbul can get especially rowdy. For that reason, many clubs usually book two different hotels to try and throw off the troublemakers.

Arsenal, of course, didn’t do that. So after word spread on social media that the Gunners had taken up quarters in Istanbul’s Wyndham Hotel Kalamış, a mob of Fenerbahce fans duly swarmed over there and went to work, shooting dozens of flares and firecrackers into the night.

Amazingly, no Arsenal players were injured.

Of course, the fans’ “support” could all be for nothing. Fenerbahce has been expelled from all UEFA competition this season and is awaiting a decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport today on their appeal. Should the suspension stand, Arsenal automatically goes through to the Champions League group stage.

17
Nov

No this actually isn’t a re-blog from Thursday.

Russia’s match between heavyweights Zenit St. Petersburg and Dynamo Moscow had to be abandoned Saturday after yet another ugly instance of fans throwing flares onto the pitch and hitting players. This time the victim is Dynamo goalkeeper Antonio Shunin.

There truly seems to be no end to this madness at the moment. How in the world can fans still sneak in these pyrotechnics every week? And when will soccer’s governing bodies step in to actually do something about this?